Model poses differ in the industry depending on the niche that you are aiming towards. The common trait that runs across all areas is an air of confidence and self assurance that jumps from each image.
Strong delivery is extremely important when posing for a professional photographer demonstrating your experience within the industry. Do not become complacent and constantly improve by practising and perfecting those bank of poses that work well. A clean, neat line is much preferred by designers to promote their clothing.
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We’ve collated 50 go-to poses along with modelling tips on how to create each position. Each tip is aimed at a specific niche along with fashion photography to explain each basic pose. Our ultimate guide will guide you on where to place your model hands, legs and head.
How to Master Commercial Poses
Catalogue and commercial modelling demands basic poses that are simple and minimal eliminating exaggeration. A simple bend of the knee, hand on hip or step to the side will usually suffice. It is essential to not distract from the clothing when delivering a strong range of different poses. In this sector less is certainly more.
Hold your physique as straight as possible with a good posture to avoid slumping and slouched positions that will not promote the clothing well and may create unwanted ripples. Smooth, slender lines will be perceived well in a commercial advert or catalogue product / campaign shot enhanced by an elongated neck, shoulders back and tilt of the head. Happy, smiley facial expressions are also perceived well by professional photographers in this niche.
- Stand slightly diagonal, bring hair over to the right, lift your right arm to your touch hair and look to the camera.
2. Cross your arms loosely at your waist, stand sideways slightly bending your left knee, twist your torso to face the front and tilt your head to the right.
3. Stand sideways and twist your torso to the camera, crossing your arms loosely over your waist, step forward slightly with your right leg and look to the camera with your head titled towards your left shoulder.
4. Stand sideways, cross your left arm over the right letting your right arm rest on your left upper thigh, step forward slightly with your right leg and look to the camera with your head titled downwards slightly.
5. Turn sideways and bend your left arm placing in the arch of your back. Stand straight and turn your head to the camera, tilting to the right.
6. Cross your arms tightly just below your bust, stand straight and turn your head towards the camera.
7. Stand straight onwards with your hands by your side, tilt your head to the left and gaze forwards.
8. Sitting on a chair, rest your head in your right arm, which is supported by your right bent knee.
9. Gently place your right arm on the arch of your back bending slightly and casually rest your left arm on your bent left leg.
10. Sit on a stool with your legs wide. Place both hands on the edge on the seat keeping your arms straight and shoulders level. Turn your head slightly put still looking at the camera.
11. Leading with your left shoulder, gently cross your arms just below your bust keeping your head focused and straight.
12. Sit back on the stool facing diagonally with your right leg bent. Gently rest your right forearm on the right thigh and place your left hand on your left thigh. This will make your torso twist aim slightly more towards the camera. Lift the chin for an elongated neck.
13. Place both arms on the hips, cross the left leg over the right and turn the head left slightly and lift the chin whilst remaining looking at the camera.
Fitness Poses to Practice
The fitness niche will seek individuals who are muscular and expertly toned. Athletic brands, sports products and professional gyms will demand poses that showcase the physique. Powerful and strong standing poses will be desired to capture a following in awe of their figure. Building a range of different positions is the perfect way for the photoshoot to run smoothly.
Lifting weights, performing press ups, sit ups and lunges or flexing their muscles will be expected of fitness models at a shoot. These model poses will showcase muscles perfectly and promote fitness. Therefore, it is essential to have a good knowledge of how gym equipment works and how to exercise, which should come naturally considering the effort involved achieving the physique.
- Lift one small weight in your right and hold your left arm stretched out.
2. Step forward into a deep lunge.
3. Place both hands on a ball with body stretched out.
4. Crouch into a starting runners position with left knee on the floor and your right foot on the floor. Place both hands on the floor in front and look down.
5. Lift two weights to your shoulders with legs wide.
6. Stand facing the back, look over your right shoulder to face the camera holding two weights in stretched out arms.
7. Flex your muscles by lifting but bending both arms.
8. Face the back and place arms above your head.
9. Lift a weight with your right arm and rest on shoulder, turn your head to the left and look at your left hand resting on your hip.
10. Hold a press up.
11. Stand sideways, hold a strong posture whilst placing both hands on the hips.
12. Rest on your forearms in a plank position.
Get to Grips with High End Poses
The high end region of fashion will demand a more artistic and striking silhouette with a powerful line. Their aim is to attract attention through a luxurious and strong aesthetic.
The pose at times will be dynamic, flexible and unusual whereas other times designers will opt for a minimal yet strong vision via an elongated neck, fierce eyes and good posture.
It is important to be open minded to the designers vision as you will be expected to perform an intricate move without fuss. Poses are required for elite magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and top designers such as Chanel and Dior.
- Turn to the back and look to the camera twisting your torso to the left. Bend your left arm and place hand on hip looking intensely. Rest your right wrist on your hip.
2. Face backwards, turn your head to face the front twisting to the camera. Leave your right arm resting and lift your left arm to touch the side of your head.
3. Position diagonally and step forward slightly with your right leg. Place your left arm on your hip whilst looking fiercely ahead.
4. Sit sideways and lift your left arm to your forehead touching your hair. Hunching slightly, turn to the camera, titling your head to the right and slightly downwards.
5. Face the back and turn your head left to face the front putting your left arm on the bottom of your back. Tilt your head downwards.
6. Stand diagonally and gently place your right hand towards your chin almost touching it. Position your head downwards looking intently straight ahead.
7. Stand diagonally, gently place your right hand on your right hip and lift left arm to touch left cheek. Turn your head to face the camera.
8. Place right arm on left bicep and lift left arm to chin. Tilt head slightly.
9. Tilt your head to the left and raise both arms to touch the side of the face.
10. Place your right arm on your left bicep (leave left arm to hang effortlessly). Bend your torso back slightly whilst titling your head to the right and downwards.
11. Lift your left shoulder towards your face, letting your head meet it as though your are almost looking over it. Lift your left arm and gently put your thumb towards your parted mouth.
12. Lift your right arms to your chin whilst looking longingly into the camera head-on.
13. Sit with legs bent, rest your arms on your knees, sit straight and turn your head to the right.
Master the Art of Glamour Poses
Glamour modelling demands seductive and provocative poses to promote lingerie. A confident female model needs to be able to ooze sexiness through poses that could involve lying suggestively on the floor on your back or front, leaning against a wall or sitting on a chair.
These activities seem quite normal yet it is up to the model to bring the sex appeal needed from the glamour niche. Models will be wearing very little clothing exposing a lot of flesh and therefore, it is essential to have complete body awareness and understand which angles and poses will enhance your nude areas.
Ripples and folds will not be accepted, which happens to all shapes when sitting in an unflattering position.
- Place your right hand on your head bending the arm. Turn your head to the right and reach your left hand to almost touch your face. Push your chest forward and your bottom to the side.
2. Arch your back, push your chest forward and bottom backwards. Raise your left arm to rest on the top of your head and lift your right arm to touch your hair.
3. Lie on your front resting your elbows and bend your knees looking seductively at the camera.
4. Sit on a chair with legs wide, place your right forearm on your right thigh and your left elbow on your left thigh and lean forward.
5. Pout whilst lifting your right arm to your long flowing locks.
6. Sit sideways on a chair and place your right arm to your head and look over your shoulder.
7. Push your chest forward and your bottom backwards. Place your right arm on your stomach and rest your head on the bent left arm.
8. Place your right hand to gently touch your left arm. Cross the right leg and tilt the head downwards.
9. Lift both hands to brush against your face. Stand sideways and twist the torso pushing out your chest. Look down and close your eyes.
10. Step forward on your left leg, push chest out and leave arms to fall behind. Lift chin and look to the camera.
11. Stand sideways, resting your right arm on your left. Turn your head to the front and glance to the side.
12. Lean on a wall with your arms stretched out above your head. Arch your back pushing out your chest.
The Different Types of Model Poses
Commercial: Simple, natural and minimal. A slight bend of the knee or a hand on the hip.
Fitness: Powerful, athletic and strong stances. Lifting weights, lunging or performing press ups and sit ups.
High Fashion: Artistic, creative and striking. An elongated neck, fierce eyes and good posture.
Glamour: Seductive, provocative and alluring. Suggestively lying on the floor/bed or up against a wall.